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NTC: Servanthood

New Testament Challenge  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We are not to be servers, but servants.

Notes & Transcripts
Hello Church,
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WE are starting the 4th week of our New Testament Challenge. I pray you have taken part. Maybe you haven’t been able to do all the readings, that’s understandable, life happens, but when we get set back, just jump back in.
WE are starting the 4th week of our New Testament Challenge. I pray you have taken part. Maybe you haven’t been able to do all the readings, that’s understandable, life happens, but when we get set back, just jump back in.
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Philippians 2:6–8 NIV84
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!
When we Serve, We Lead Others -
I encourage you to do this because I honestly believe God wants to speak to us. Reading God’s word is the best way for God to speak to us. Reading the same scriptures together is the best way for God to speak to us as a church. So I hope you can take part. Pick up a reading guide on your way out today.
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It’s good for me to be back with you today. I was away last week visiting my daughter. I did hear that Bill Gowdy brought a powerful word her last week. Thank you Bill.
When we Serve, We Lead Others -

Parents

We went to parents weekend at Western Michigan University. It was great to see my daughter and unfortunately she is doing great…I really hoped a little that she would wan tot come home…but at least she is doing well I guess. Mom and Dad will just have to get over it.
When we Serve, We Love God -

Movie Night

WE had planned to do all sorts of things but it poured raining all weekend. It reminded me of back when she was little and it we had a weekend with nasty weather, we would have movie nights. Do you remember when they were a big deal? WE would get together and load up in my Bronco to go rent a movie. Do you remember the video store? It was a marvelous thing to someone who grew up with 3 channels. When we lived on Kent Island, we had a BlockBuster.

BLOCKBUSTER

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It was just 15 years ago that Blockbuster reigned supreme in the video rental industry. We would drive to one of Blockbuster, stroll through rows of DVD-lined shelves, and hand a membership card to a blue-clad employee. The kids would ask about getting the super sized boxes of candy like they sell at the theatre. WE would get some popcorn, then go home to settle in for the night with the latest “new release”.
Blockbuster was a great store with everything you could ask for. One day, the owner of a new startup business, Reed Hastings, set up a meeting with John Antioco the CEO of BlockBuster. He wanted to see how they could collaborate. Reed you see was starting a new service that would mail DVDs to people’s home after they checked them out on their website.

NETFLIX

Hello Church,
It’s good to be back.
His company was a small outfit that no one had heard of back then, NETFLIX. The CEO of BlockBuster laughed him out of the office. Who in the world would rent movies on their computer and fool with mailing them back and forth?
At the turn of the century, Blockbuster reigned supreme in the video rental industry. If your family craved a movie night, someone likely had to drive to one of Blockbuster's 9,000 stores, stroll through rows of DVD-lined shelves, and hand a membership card to a blue-clad employee. When Reed Hastings, founder of a fledgling startup called Netflix, met with Blockbuster CEO John Antioco in 2000 to propose a partnership, he was laughed out of the office.
The world was changing, but Blockbuster doubled down on its store-first model by offering popcorn, books, and toys. They sought to make their stores a destination, the movies and popcorn were just means to get the stores to profitability. Netflix took a different path. They instead charged a subscription fee, but there were no late fees. Netflix believed that getting the movie that customers wanted into their hands was their #1 goal and they sought to use everything they had to acomplish that goal.

STORE CLOSING

STORE CLOSING

Despite changing consumer preferences, Blockbuster doubled down on its store-first model by offering popcorn, books, and toys, while Netflix experimented with a subscription model and no late fees. Only 10 years later, Netflix became the largest source of streaming Internet traffic in North America during peak hours, with over 20 million subscribers. Blockbuster declared bankruptcy.
Only 10 years later, Netflix became the largest source of streaming Internet traffic in North America during peak hours, with over 20 million subscribers. Blockbuster declared bankruptcy.
I believe this story illustrates servanthood very well. It shows the difference between serving and being a servant. Blockbuster wanted to serve people, but in order to experience the service; you had to go to them. Their store became the point, and no servants could be found anywhere. Netflix on the other hand, kept the customer the point. They were willing to come to the customer, making their needs a priority with the mentality of a servant.
Possible Preaching Angles: We in ministry have a similar choice before us. Our calling and message should never change. But, like a doctor refusing to attend medical conferences, if we don't regularly step back to look at innovations in our vocation, we will miss opportunities to influence people.

CHALLENGE TO SERVANTHOOD

Blockbuster wanted to serve people, but in order to experience the service, you had to go to them. Netflix on the other hand was willing to come to the customer and with the mentality of a servant.
This was a lesson Jesus taught in our readings this week.
The new Testament is bold in it’s challenge to be a servant, to live our lives as servants of God’s plan.
This was a lesson Jesus taught in our readings this week.
In , we find Jesus, the disciples, and a large group of followers traveling from Judea, across the Jordan River back to into Jerusalem. As the travel along, he takes the disciples aside and tells them. Ok, fellas, we are going to Jerusalem. When we get there, the leaders of the temple are going to have me arrested. I’m going to be tried and found guilty, then beaten, spit upon, and killed. But that won’t be the end of me. Three days later I will rise and you will see me.
They take some time to consider what he is saying, then James and John come to him. Take him aside and looking around they say, Hey Jesus. We know you are going to be the King. When you become king, can we rule with you? Can my brother and I sit on your right and on your left?
Being a servant requires that we be willing to be a means to an end.
You can just imagine Jesus shaking his head I’m sure. Fellas, you don’t understand what you are asking; besides, it’s not up to me who gets seats of honor in my father’s kingdom.
We struggle with servanthood when we believe we are the end.
Who do we exist for?
Well you can imagine what happened when the others heard about their request. The others started arguing with them about why they should be in charge. Take this in for a minute. Jesus has just described his death to them that was going to happen in just a couple days, and here they are, squabbling over who is gets the place of honor. You can just imagine Jesus shaking his head…bless their hearts.
Whats our point?

Then he says ok fellas. I’m going to explain this one more time.

Mark 10:42–45 NIV84
Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Guys, this kingdom I am building is built on the hearts of servants, not the authority of a king. This thing we are building is by slaves of all, not slaves of one.
When we live for ourselves,
That is what the kingdom of God looks like, a kingdom of servants.
In the classic The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis describes how being a servanthood is the economy of God’s kingdom. He wrote how our taking up our cross and following Jesus, dying to ourselves is what makes Gods kingdom real.
This idea of being a servant, servanthood if you will is a big challenge of the NT.
If I were to ask you, “What is a servant?” I know at least one of you would say…oh that’s easy. A servant is person who serves.
I would say you are right. But you are also wrong.

Every servant - serves…but not every server is a servant.

There is a difference.

Serving is something we do, where servanthood is a matter of the heart. It’s an attitude.

Being a servant is a matter of our heart, our motivations; while being a server is just a description of what we do. It’s a task that servers do and leave behind. Servers do not serve those unless they are getting something in return. Ultimately, their labors are self-serving.
Servants of God can’t "not serve” because it is the way that things get done in the kingdom of God.
These three fall short of true servanthood. They do not gird up their loins and wash the feet of those who cannot truly give anything in return. They do not labor for the benefit of others without contemplation of their own reward. Ultimately, their labors are self-serving.
There’s a catch: *Beau* only really serves leaders.
*Sven is not an actual guy. He’s an amalgam of individuals I’ve seen who all share the characteristics I’m examining.
There’s a catch: Sven only really serves leaders.
The copies were for the boss’ presentation. The coffee was for the keynote speaker’s husband. Summoning that guy to the meeting was mainly so *Beau* could make sure everyone respected the coordinator’s schedule. *Beau* works hard for others, so long as the others are people of significance. He’s the guy who shows up for work days, and labors shoulder-to-shoulder only with the music director. He’s in the Christmas program because the pastor pulled him aside to talk about it. He might appear to serve the church, but in reality his service is leadership-focused. Serving the goals of the group makes the leader happy, and that’s *Beau’s* focus.
The copies were for the boss’ presentation. The coffee was for the keynote speaker’s wife. Summoning that guy to the meeting was mainly so Sven could make sure everyone respected the coordinator’s schedule. Sven works hard for others, so long as the others are people of significance. He’s the guy who shows up for work days, and labors shoulder-to-shoulder only with the music director. He’s in the Christmas program because the pastor pulled him aside to talk about it. He might appear to serve the church itself, but in reality his service is leadership-focused. Serving the goals of the group makes the leader happy, and that’s Sven’s focus.
*Beau* will never mow a yard unless it is part of a church-wide outreach. You’ll never catch him playing with kids in the nursery so mom’s can worship without the stress of their little one. He doesn’t stay after to sweep or fold tables or wash the dishes; no, you’ll find *Beau* giving the pastor a ride home or working on the lights with the choir director.
Sven will never mow a yard unless it is part of a church-wide Widows and Orphans outreach. You’ll never catch him playing with toddlers in the corner of the gym in order to allow their mothers the chance to eat lunch with friends during the church’s anniversary party. He doesn’t stay after to sweep or fold tables or wash the dishes; no, you’ll find Sven giving the pastor’s son a ride home or working on the lights with the choir director.
Olga* presents another interesting case. She’s worked in the nursery for the last 22 years, and has been its coordinator for 17 of those years. Loves children. Works well with parents. A fabulous servant, no?
Sort of. *BEULAH* does labor and the church does benefit and she does work for the good of those who are not in a position to do something in return, unlike BEAU. However, those who work alongside her know: *BEULAH* is not so much the coordinator of the nursery as she is Queen. Sure, she laughs and smiles as she questions those who moved the rocking chair from the children’s room, but make no mistake: *BEULAH* lords it over the nursery and generally runs roughshod over any Children’s Ministry volunteer who dares pitch new ideas about her kingdom. And don’t ask her to help the trustees, that’s not her department.
*Not a real person – just an avatar representing the many who behave this way.
Sort of. Olga does labor and the church does benefit and she does work for the good of those who are not in a position to do something in return, unlike Sven. However, those who work alongside her know: Olga is not so much the coordinator of the nursery as she is Queen. Sure, she laughs and smiles as she questions those who moved the rocking chair from the Creepers room, but make no mistake: Olga lords it over the nursery and generally runs roughshod over any Children’s Ministry Director who dares pitch new ideas about her fiefdom.
These three fall short of true servanthood. They do not gird up their loins and wash the feet of those who cannot truly give anything in return. They do not labor for the benefit of others without contemplation of their own reward. Ultimately, their labors are self-serving.
Inga* presents a bit of a middle way. She serves her leaders quite well. She also serves select peons who would otherwise slip and stagger along. There’s a catch; the little people she serves find themselves locked into an expectation of vassalage. They must do as Inga requires, support what Inga supports, and ostracize those whom Inga cannot control through service.
*BEAU*, *BEULAH*, and *KITTY* represent servers, people who labor in anticipation of wages. *BEAU* receives clout, or attention, or plum opportunities. *BEULAH* lines her pockets with a sense of power, importance, and control. *KITTY* cashes a paycheck of personal influence and domination, not only of those she has served but also via voting blocs and voices raised in compulsory unison with her own. These three fall short of true servanthood. They do not gird up their loins and wash the feet of those who cannot truly give anything in return. They do not labor for the benefit of others without contemplation of their own reward. Ultimately, their labors are self-serving.
*You know what I’m going to say here, so just insert your own statement regarding the facetiousness of Inga’s identity.
Sven, Olga, and Inga represent servers, people who labor in anticipation of wages. Sven receives clout, or attention, or plum opportunities. Olga lines her pockets with a sense of power, importance, and control. Inga cashes a paycheck of personal influence and domination, not only of those she has served but also via voting blocs and voices raised in compulsory unison with her own. These three fall short of true servanthood. They do not gird up their loins and wash the feet of those who cannot truly give anything in return. They do not labor for the benefit of others without contemplation of their own reward. Ultimately, their labors are self-serving.
Absent is any true sense of service as Christ modeled for us.
Absent is any true sense of service as Christ intended.
Hear how Paul described our challenge from Philippians 2 from our reading this week.
Philippians 2:1–13 NIV84
1 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
What does this attitude of Christ look like in our lives?

Servants Base Their Identity in Christ

Verse one says it right there.
Philippians 2:1–2 NIV84
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
If you have any part in Christ…get your identity there.
If you have any part in Christ…get your identity there.
Servants understand they are unconditionally loved and accepted by God’s grace. They dont have to prove their worth when they are threatened by lowly jobs. Servants aren’t afraid of their weaknesses and insecurities.

Washing of the feet

Jesus displayed this when he washed the disciples feet. Washing feet was the equivalent of being a shoeshine boy, a job with no priviledge. But Jesus knew who he was, so he wasn’t threatened by serving.
He knew what the Bible says about God putting all things under his power. He knew who he was, so he picked up a towel.
If youre going to be a servant you must settle your identity in Christ. Only secure people can serve. The more insecure you are, the more youll want people to serve you, and the more youll need their approval. On the other hand, when you base your worth and identity on your relationship to Christ, you are freed from the expectation of others. You are freed to serve.

Is your identity settled?

If we’re going to become servants we must settle our identity issue. Only secure people can serve. The greater our level of insecurity, the greater desire to be served, the greater hunger you have for approval.
But when we know who we are in Christ, we are free from the desire for approval from others, because you are loved by God.
Few things really matter when you know God loves can’t possibly love you any more.
Servants dont need to cover their walls with plaques and awards to validate their work. They dont insist on being addressed by titles and they dont wrap themselves in robes of superiority. Servants find status symbols unnecessary and they never measure their worth by their achievements. Paul said, You may brag about yourself, but the only approval that counts is the Lord's approval.
s find status symbols unnecessary and they never measure their worth by their achievements. Paul said, You may brag about yourself, but the only approval that counts is the Lord's approval.
In fact, for a servant, not only do we not think of the influence of others, we also forget ourselves.
If anyone had the chance of a lifetime to flaunt his connections and "name-drop," it was James, the half-brother of Jesus. He had the credentials of growing up with Jesus as his brother. Yet in introducing his letter, he simply referred to himself as "a servant of God and the Lord Jesus." The closer you get to Jesus, the less you need to promote yourself.

Servants are Self-Forgetful

vs 7
Philippians 2:7 NLT
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form,
Paul described it in vs 7, when Jesus gave up his status as God and took up the position of a slave”
Paul described it in vs 7, when Jesus gave up his status as God and took up the position of a slave”
Slaves focus on the master and on others, not themselves. Jesus is talking about an attitude of humility. Simply thinking of ourselves less.
They focus on others, not themselves. This is true humility: not thinking less of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less. Paul said, Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. This is what it means to "lose your life"- forgetting yourself in service to others. When we stop focusing on our needs, we become aware of the needs around us.
Jesus "emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant." In this he accomplished what was most significant in our lives. Think of how you serve. Would you consider it an emptying?
Unfortunately, a lot of our service is often self-serving. We serve to get others to like us, to be admired, or to achieve our own goals.
Jesus "emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant." When was the last time you emptied yourself for someone elses benefit? You cant be a servant if youre full of yourself. Its only when we forget ourselves that we do the things that deserve to be remembered.
Unfortunately, a lot of our service is often self-serving. We serve to get others to like us, to be admired, or to achieve our own goals. That is manipulation, not ministry. All the time were really thinking about ourselves and how noble and wonderful we are. Some people try to use service as a bargaining tool with God: "Ill do this for you God, if youll do something for me." Real servants dont try to use God for their purposes. They let God use them for His purposes.
Let me tell you about a Churchman named BEAUX.
*Beau* is a great guy. He loves the Lord. He works hard for the kingdom. He’s one of the busiest guys you’ll ever meet. At meetings, you can always see him hustling off to make copies, or get coffee, or summon a wayward attendee to the gathering. It seems like ol’ *Beau* will do absolutely anything.
Unfortunately, a lot of our service is often self-serving. We serve to get others to like us, to be admired, or to achieve our own goals. That is manipulation, not ministry. All the time were really thinking about ourselves and how noble and wonderful we are. Some people try to use service as a bargaining tool with God: "Ill do this for you God, if youll do something for me." Real servants dont try to use God for their purposes. They let God use them for His purposes.
There’s a catch: *Beau* only really serves leaders.
*Beau* works hard for others, so long as the others are people of significance. He’s the guy who shows up for work days, and labors shoulder-to-shoulder only with the music director. He’s in the Christmas program because the pastor pulled him aside to talk about it. He might appear to serve the church, but in reality his service is benefit-focused. you see, when he serves with the leaders of the church, he believes he is in the best places.
*Beau* will never mow a yard unless it is part of a church-wide outreach. You’ll never catch him playing with kids in the nursery so mom’s can worship without the stress of their little one. He doesn’t stay after to sweep or fold tables or wash the dishes; no, you’ll find *Beau* giving the pastor a ride home or working on the lights with the choir director.
This is manipulation, not ministry. All the time Beau is measuring those he serves, seeking to make his service more noble and more valuable. Or puts him in a better position.
This is manipulation, not ministry. All the time Beau is measuring those he serves, seeking to make his service more noble and more valuable. Or puts him in a better position to move up the ladder of influence.
Some people try to use service as a bargaining tool with God: "I’ll do this for you God, if you’ll do something for me." Real servants don’t try to use God for their purposes. They let God use them for His purposes.
That’s why servanthood is such a challenge. It challenges a default in my thinking: I am, by nature, selfish. I think most about me. Humility is a daily struggle, a lesson I must relearn over and over. The opportunity to be a servant challenges me dozens of times a day where I’m given the choice to decide between meeting my needs or the needs of others.
The quality of self-forgetfulness, like faithfulness, is extremely rare. Out of all the people Paul knew, Timothy was the only example he could point to. Thinking like a servant is difficult because it challenges the basic problem of my life: I am, by nature, selfish. I think most about me. Thats why humility is a daily struggle, a lesson I must relearn over and over. The opportunity to be a servant confronts me dozens of times a day where Im given the choice to decide between meeting my needs or the needs of others. Self-denial is the core of servanthood.

Self-denial is the core of servanthood.

We can measure our servants heart by how we respond when others treat us like servants. How do you react when youre taken for granted, bossed around, or treated as an inferior? The Message paraphrase of says, If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life.
Jesus modeled this as he lived like a steward rather than an owner.

Servants Think Like Stewards, Not Owners

Philippians 2:6 NIV84
6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
Jesus was God, but he lived as a man. He had set aside his ownership and accepted life as a steward.
vs 6
Jesus was God, but he lived as a man. He had set aside his ownership and accepted life as a steward.
Stewards, understand that God is in charge while they have a part to play. Stewards know they aren’t the boss, it’s not theirs, their part is to work it until the owner returns. God’s the owner, and His will is the point and they are a means to God’s end.
LEt me tell you about Beau’s wife - Beulah.
Then there is *BEULAH* presents another interesting case. She’s worked in the nursery for the last 22 years, and has been its coordinator for 17 of those years. Loves children. Works well with parents. A fabulous servant, no?
To become a real servant, you’re going to have to settle the issue of money in your life. Jesus said, "No servant can serve two masters... You cannot serve both God and Money." He didnt say, "You shouldnt serve both," but "You cannot." It is impossible. Living for ministry and living for money are mutually exclusive goals. Which one will you choose? If youre a servant of God you cant moonlight for yourself. All your time belongs to God. He insists on exclusive allegiance, not part-time faithfulness.
To become a real servant, youre going to have to settle the issue of money in your life. Jesus said, "No servant can serve two masters... You cannot serve both God and Money." He didnt say, "You shouldnt serve both," but "You cannot." It is impossible. Living for ministry and living for money are mutually exclusive goals. Which one will you choose? If youre a servant of God you cant moonlight for yourself. All your time belongs to God. He insists on exclusive allegiance, not part-time faithfulness.
Money has the greatest potential to replace God in your life. More people are sidetracked from serving by materialism than anything else. They say, "After I achieve my financial goals, Im going to serve God." That is a foolish decision they will regret for eternity. When Jesus is your Master, money serves you, but if money is your master, you become its slave. Wealth is certainly not a sin, but failing to use it for Gods glory is. Real servants are more concerned about ministry than money.
The Bible is very clear: God uses money to test your faithfulness as a servant. Thats why Jesus talked more about money than he did about either heaven or hell. He said, If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? How you manage your money affects how much God can bless your life.
I believe people usually fall into one of two categories: Kingdom Builders and Wealth Builders.
Sort of. *BEULAH* does labor and the church does benefit and she does work for the good of those who are not in a position to do something in return, unlike BEAU. However, those who work alongside her know: *BEULAH* is not so much the coordinator of the nursery as she is Queen. Sure, she laughs and smiles as she questions those who moved the rocking chair from the children’s room, but make no mistake: *BEULAH* lords over the nursery and generally runs roughshod over any Children’s Ministry volunteer who dares pitch new ideas about her kingdom. And don’t ask her to help the trustees, that’s not her department.
Both are gifted at making a business grow, making deals or sales, and making a profit.
Wealth Builders continue to amass wealth for themselves no matter how much they make.
*BEULAH* labors for her own benefit. She lines her pockets with a sense of power, importance, and control.
Kingdom Builders change the rules of the game. They still try to make as much money as they can but they do it in order to give it away. They use the wealth to fund Gods church and its mission in the world.
She treats that nursery as her very own, not as something as the place she serves God. She takes ownership, instead of stewardship of the ministry.
When Jesus labored as a servant, he gave all those up.
At Saddleback church, we have a group of CEOs and business owners who are trying to make as much as they can, so they can give as much as they can to further the kingdom of God. I encourage you to talk with your pastor and begin a Kingdom Builders group in your church.
Servants Think About Their Own Responsibilities, Not What Other Servants are Doing

Servants Think About Their Own Responsibilities, Not What Others are Doing

Philippians 2:8 NIV84
8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!
Jesus didn’t die wondering why he was being punished for the sins of others. He didn’t question why he was being killed after doing nothing wrong. He didn’t go out blaming others. Jesus died, just as he lived, accepting his part in God’s plan.
Phil 2:8
That’s the the way servants think. Servants know they are here to serve, they don’t have time to worry about what others are or are not doing.
Then there is Beau and Beulah’s daughter Kitty
*KITTY*, she presents a bit of a middle way. She serves her leaders quite well. She also serves select peons who would otherwise slip and stagger along. There’s a catch; the “little people” she serves find themselves locked into an expectation of allegiance. They must do as *KITTY* requires, support what *KITTY* supports, and ostracize those whom *KITTY* cannot control through service.
*KITTY* uses her serving to build her own kingdom instead of God’s. She is always watching how to make sure people are working for her. She is very protective of her team.
True servants though don’t compare, criticize, or compete with other servants or ministries. They’re too busy doing the work God has given them to be critical. Any time spent criticizing others is time that could have been spent ministering. When Martha complained to Jesus that Mary was not helping with the work, she lost her servants heart. Real servants dont complain of unfairness, dont have pity-parties, and dont resent those not serving. They just trust God and keep serving.
They don’t compare, criticize, or compete with other servants or ministries. They’re too busy doing the work God has given them.
Competition between Gods servants is illogical for many reasons: were all on the same team, our goal is to make God look good, not ourselves, we’ve been given different assignments, and were all uniquely shaped. Paul said, We will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
Competition between Gods servants is illogical for many reasons: were all on the same team, our goal is to make God look good, not ourselves, weve been given different assignments, and were all uniquely shaped. Paul said, We will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
Theres no place for petty jealousy between servants. When you’re busy serving, you don’t have time to be critical. Any time spent criticizing others is time that could have been spent ministering. When Martha complained to Jesus that Mary was not helping with the work, she lost her servants heart. Real servants dont complain of unfairness, dont have pity-parties, and dont resent those not serving. They just trust God and keep serving.
Theres no place for petty jealousy between servants. When youre busy serving, you dont have time to be critical. Any time spent criticizing others is time that could have been spent ministering. When Martha complained to Jesus that Mary was not helping with the work, she lost her servants heart. Real servants dont complain of unfairness, dont have pity-parties, and dont resent those not serving. They just trust God and keep serving.
All these attitudes of Jesus, Not thinking of the service of others, thinking like stewards, being self-forgetful result from having our identity in Christ. The attidue of Christ can be a powerful thing in the life of a believer. Particularly when it shapes the goal of our life.
Its not our job to evaluate the Masters other servants. The Bible says, Who are you to criticize someone else's servant? The Lord will determine whether his servant has been successful. Its also not our job to defend ourselves against criticism. Let your Master handle it. Follow the example of Moses who showed true humility in the face of opposition, as did Nehemiah, whose response to critics was simply, My work is too important to stop now and visit with you.
If you serve like Jesus, you can expect to be criticized. The world, and even much of the church, does not understand what God values. The disciples criticized one of the most beautiful acts of love shown to Jesus. Mary took the most valuable thing she owned, expensive perfume, and poured it over Jesus. Her lavish service was called "a waste" by the disciples, but Jesus called it "significant," and that’s all that mattered. You service for Christ is never wasted, regardless of what others say.
If you serve like Jesus, you can expect to be criticized. The world, and even much of the church, does not understand what God values. The disciples criticized one of the most beautiful acts of love shown to Jesus. Mary took the most valuable thing she owned, expensive perfume, and poured it over Jesus. Her lavish service was called "a waste" by the disciples, but Jesus called it "significant," and thats all that mattered. You service for Christ is never wasted, regardless of what others say.
Service for Christ is never wasted, regardless of what others say.

They remember they are unconditionally loved and accepted by grace, so they dont have to prove their worth when they are threatened by lowly jobs. Most of us are too insecure to be servants. Were afraid our weaknesses and insecurities will be uncovered so we hide them with layers of protective pride and pretensions.
One of the most profound examples of serving from a secure self-image is Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. Washing feet was the equivalent of being a shoeshine boy, a job devoid of status. But Jesus knew who he was, so it didnt threaten or bother him to do it.
All these attitudes of Jesus, Not thinking of the service of others, thinkng like stewards, being self-forgetful result from having our identity in Christ. The attidue of Christ can be a powerful thing in the life of a believer. Particularly when it shapes the goal of our life.
The Bible says Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God...so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist...
If youre going to be a servant you must settle your identity in Christ. Only secure people can serve. The more insecure you are, the more youll want people to serve you, and the more youll need their approval. On the other hand, when you base your worth and identity on your relationship to Christ, you are freed from the expectation of others. You are freed to serve.
Servants dont need to cover their walls with plaques and awards to validate their work. They dont insist on being addressed by titles and they dont wrap themselves in robes of superiority. Servants find status symbols unnecessary and they never measure their worth by their achievements. Paul said, You may brag about yourself, but the only approval that counts is the Lord's approval.
If anyone had the chance of a lifetime to flaunt his connections and "name-drop," it was James, the half-brother of Jesus. He had the credentials of growing up with Jesus as his brother. Yet in introducing his letter, he simply referred to himself as "a servant of God and the Lord Jesus." The closer you get to Jesus, the less you need to promote yourself.

Servants are willing to be the means to His end.

We came to this life thinking we were the point. Everyone served us, everyone took care of us. These are natural ways of thinking for babies right. But as adults at some point we have to realize that everyone doesn’t exist for me, so what do I exist for.
Being a servant requires that we be willing to be a means to an end.
But many of us are caught in this tension, struggling with servanthood when we hold on the idea that we are the end.
Servants of Jesus have come to understand that actually God’s purposes are the point. They enjoy helping people, meeting needs, and doing ministry. They "serve the Lord with gladness." - All because they love the Lord, and are grateful for his grace. Servants know serving is the highest use of life taht God has given us.
Servants are willing to be used.
I have a friend who died a couple weeks ago from Brain cancer. Servaral months ago, he had brain surgery. Pretty scrary thing to know that you are about to go back as Pete, but you may not come back knowing who you are.
Imagine that could happen if just 10% of all Christians in the world got serious about their role of being a real servant. Imagine all the good that could be done. Are you willing to be one of those people? Albert Schweitzer said, "The only really happy people are those have learned how to serve."
I met him at the hospital before he had surgery to pray with him. I didn’t know what to expect really, so as I entered the pre-op, and there he is all covered up with the ink marks on his head. He’s laughing and carrying on with his family. The nurses come in and say it’s time to go. So we pray, then he prays a simple prayer. A prayer of a servant, that I would encourage us to pray this week.
We struggle with servanthood when we believe we are the end.

USE ME.

Who do we exist for?
Whats our point?
When we live for ourselves,
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